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Yes! It is my long awaited solo art exhibition!

Finally after months of planning. The venue was booked too long ago to even remember, though I could probably just check. It just seems like this has been looming and looming.

Guess what? It starts next week!

art4oka exhibition flyer

for more information please email

I like to be organised as a rule, checking and rechecking, you know the type. As it is my first ever solo art exhibition I want to be fully prepared. However, I am not entirely sure if I have written a list of the things that I need to do. I am almost done, but there is always that danger of having forgotten something.

original artwork by abstract artist Jonathan Oakes

May I (detail)

acrylic, pencil & conte on paper

original artwork by Jonathan Oakes

I have even asked my long time friend who I see on a yearly basis to come and help me hang it. This kind of completes a circle (although nothing is over) . This friend we can call him Jim, started me thinking that I could do art, back in the days when I was a frustrated welder in Sheffield. In fact if it wasn't for his direct or non direct influence I may not have even explored the strange and interesting world of art. One of those key moments in life I suppose, no one knows what might have happened otherwise. Hence I thought it would be fitting to have him help me sort this other key moment, many years later.

original artwork by abstract artist Jonathan Oakes

Stop, Look & Listen (detail)

acrylic & pencil on canvas

original artwork by Jonathan Oakes

The Gardens Gallery is a lovely building in a small regency park setting, adjacent to a ornate bandstand and across the road from Cheltenham's up and coming "Arts" quarter i.e Montpellier. The gallery seems quite large inside and is open and airy. I am sure the sense of space will soon disappear after we hang the fifty plus artworks that I intend to exhibit. The majority of the artworks have been completed in the last twelve months. There are also a few never seen before pieces on exhibit and a few sneak peaks are on this page, and some will also appear on my Instagram posts. These will start to increase in frequency as the opening draws near.

The countdown has begun!

QR code Jonathan Oakes original art

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Be part of the world not apart from the world:

Warning! there now follows a heavy environmental rant on an artist's blog post.

Ironic eco postings. "Don't use computers get outside and breathe!" Do the people need to hear that? You are stopping them from having the outside experience too. Maybe they are outside already? Then they should not glued to the phone. mindfulness podcasts while the world is burning!

original artwork Jonathan Oakes

Who Knew?

original artwork by Jonathan Oakes

mixed media on photograph

25 cm x 20 cm

(October 22- gallery)

“I need to watch!” “I need to know!” “I need to respond!” “I need to charge!”

Focusing on these addictive technologies deemed necessary but not used previously. The focus and attention is drained. We look away, away from the Earth. Away from the place of our birth. We do not notice that nature is becoming restless. Roaring because its being is being ignored. The extremes are showing. The gap is widening between the tech dependent children. With downloaded experiences. To virtually uploaded images. Nothing is gained. No position is changed. The weather screams for attention just outside, although it is only noticed on the news."

Humankind has lost/ is loosing touch with the natural environment which produced our species in the first place. Forgetting what we are all made of.

In the constant quest to gain power and command over the natural world basic factors have been forgotten. Respect is perhaps the most important.

Although respecting each other, human to human is, of course important. Unfortunately and critically it is the loss of respect for the Earth as a whole, and the immediate environment that has become frighteningly apparent.

Trying to reconnect billions of people to the natural environment and to reeducate humankind is surely the only way to protect a sustainable future. Battling to heal a septic wound that has been festering since the industrial age. Progressing to kill ourselves and future generations. Suffocating nature's wonders.

Is it due to a religion or to an attitude or even due to a religious attitude that some of humankind thinks themselves as superior over all things natural.

Original Artwork Jonathan Oakes

Simply Too Much Packaging

original artwork by Jonathan Oakes

mixed media on collage

20 cm x 29 cm

(project 53- gallery)

Too much packaging. Throw away and do not repair, it is not economically viable.

Organic brain foods from across the world, trying not to feel guilty about the carbon.

So in touch with the global population as long as they have smart phone.


Friction is caused when two objects touch. If one object is a road and the other is a man then friction is caused on the roads surface and the mans feet, it hurts him.

So he buys some shoes. The friction still occurs, but now he is more comfortable, eventually the shoes wear through, he also needs to go faster.

So he buys some more shoes, this time he buys ones with rubber soles, these are far more comfortable, however they do wear out more quickly than his last pair.

He buys a pair of ‘Nike air’, far more comfortable than any shoes, comforted by a pocket of air. He is in a hurry he runs in them but he gets a puncture in them.

“This is costing me a fortune in shoes!” He says. So he buys a car with four tyres full of air and suspension on the car giving as much comfort and control as possible when travelling at that speed. However, friction is still his enemy.

His tyres wear out because of the constant pressure of contact.

So he buys himself a hovercraft, no friction there.

There he is floating a few feet above the surface of the road, having lost contact with the earth as soon as he put his shoes on, (realising he was naked.)

Now he is able to go on longer journeys in shorter lengths of time thanks to the advancements of technology.

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all images and writings are copyright Jonathan Oakes 2023

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New artwork has been added to See below for details:

Protecting the Puffin's Egg

Original artwork & text by Jonathan Oakes

It had been a mild winter, he knew that, milder even than last year. Never the less the time of year had come when all of the able villagers went out to the headland on top of the sea cliffs. It was time to use the harvesting skills and traditions that had been passed down to him from his father who had learned them from his father. In fact, the tradition of harvesting the Puffin birds had been going on for generations, perhaps since the time of the first settlers to these lonesome, weather bashed islands in the unforgiving Northern Atlantic Ocean.

Protecting the Puffin's Egg Original Artwork  by Jonathan Oakes

Protecting the Puffin's Egg - Mixed media on Photograph - 20 cm x 20 cm - Jonathan Oakes

When he had finally finished lacing up his long boots, he stepped from his house into the usual blustery wind. Looking around him he saw others that had gathered in small groups outside some of the larger houses. He reached up above his door and unhooked the fleyg* his father had made for him on his fourteenth birthday, and holding it again his mind was immediately flung back to that joyous moment, his coming of age. The image quickly faded, blasted away with the image of his father falling to his death from the very cliffs that he and the others were heading for in just a few moments. The accident had happened ten years ago, when the winters were colder and the Puffin birds seemed to fill the sky at their nesting grounds on the bleak headland.

Protecting the Puffin's Egg Detail Original Artwork  by Jonathan Oakes

Protecting the Puffin's Egg (Detail)

original art work by Jonathan Oakes

In the early spring a meeting was held in the village hall to discuss the obvious decline in Puffin numbers. There were many who could remember being able to reach down into a nesting hole, at full stretch and pull out a single egg in almost every hole. In the last few years it was about 1 in 6 holes which had eggs inside, even these were smaller and far more delicate than the eggs of the past. There was no escaping the facts, the Puffin numbers had seriously declined. The annual harvest never had such a devastating effect, the Puffin birds always came back. No, the traditional harvesting was not to blame. It was something else.

We had been hearing on the news that larger fishing quotas had been granted in neighbouring international waters, this would have an impact on the fish stocks, even down to the smaller sizes on which the Puffins fed. When the large commercial fishing trawlers throw back their unwanted catch, the waste attracts scavenging seabirds with a more general diet, which push out or even prey on the Puffin birds. Waste oil, fuel and pollution that is, unintentionally or intentionally dumped in this beautiful, once rich ocean filters down and infiltrates into all species. Condensing the potency of the poison further up the food chain it travels. The plankton are infected, small fish that eat the plankton are infected 1,000 times more, the seabird that eats 100 small fish is infected a 100 times more than that etc.

Protecting the Puffin's Egg detail b Original Artwork  by Jonathan Oakes

*Fleyg = A 3 to 4 metre long split pole in the shape of a Y with fine netting strung between the forks. Larger but less voluminous than a butterfly net it is traditional used in Iceland and the Faeroe islands to catch puffins in flight.

Protecting the Puffin's Egg (Detail)

original art work by Jonathan Oakes

(Artwork & background story by Jonathan Oakes copyright 2022)

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